Freshmen are winners

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Last updated: 08/21/2013 12:26 PM
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Football
Winning a common quality for Freshman class
By Rob Ogden

In the Big Ten, especially at a big-time program like Ohio State, winning is an expectation, not a hope. 12-0 was a good start, but the Buckeyes believe they have the tools to build on that in 2013.

This year's freshman class adds quite a few more tools into the toolbox, but none of them have ever experienced winning at the college level.

Team success in high school isn't overly indicative of individual talent, but knowing how to win is a trait that shouldn't be overlooked.

Vonn Bell
Photo by Dan Harker
Vonn Bell

Freshman defensive back Vonn Bell comes from a pretty solid high school program. His Ridgeland High School team finished 2012 as runners-up in the Georgia Class AAAA state championship game.

Fellow freshman Dontre Wilson's DeSoto, Texas team also finished 2012 as state runners-up.

Bell said a little bit of bragging about high school glory days can occasionally go on between the two roommates.

"We try to look back on high school a little bit," Bell said. "He's always gonna say something about Dallas football, but I tell him Georgia football is tough too."

Here's how some of Ohio State's freshman class fared in high school.

Eli Apple, CB
Eastern High School, Voorhees, N.J.
Eastern was 7-4 in 2012 and reached the regional semifinals.

J.T. Barrett, QB
Rider High School Wichita Falls, Texas
Barrett's senior season came to an early end when he injured his knee in the fifth game of the season. Rider was 4-1 in games with Barrett and finished the season 12-3.

Vonn Bell, DB
Ridgeland High School, Rossville, Ga.
Ridgeland finished as runners-up in the Georgia Class AAAA state championships with a 13-2 record.

Joey Bosa, DL
St. Thomas Aquinas High School, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
Florida power Aquinas finished the 2012 season 13-2 and won the Florida Class 7A state championship.

Cam Burrows, DB
Trotwood Madison High School
Trotwood Madison played in three consecutive Division II state championship games from 2010-2012. Finished 12-3 and state runner-up in 2012. Finished 15-0 and won championship in 2011.

James Clark, WR
New Smyrna Beach High School, New Smyrna Beach, Fla.
New Smyrna went undefeated during the regular season, but lost in the opening round of the playoffs, finishing 9-1.

Gareon Conley, CB
Massillon Washington High School
Washington was 11-2 during Conley's senior season and advanced to the regional finals.

Ezekiel Elliot, RB
John Burroughs School, St. Louis, Mo.
Burroughs, coach by Gus Frerotte, finished the 2012 season 13-1, and was Class 3 state runners-up. Burroughs has been state runner-up three consecutive years.

Michael Hill, DL
Pendleton High School, Pendleton, S.C.
Hill's senior season was cut short when he suffered a hand injury during the team's eighth game. Pendleton went 5-3 with Hill and 8-4 overall.

Trey Johnson, LB
Central Gwinnett High School, Lawrenceville, Ga.
Central Gwinnett went 6-4 in 2012.

Darron Lee, ATH
New Albany High School
New Albany advanced to the Division II state semifinals and finished the 2012 season 11-3.

Tyquan Lewis, DE
Tarboro High School, Tarboro, N.C.
Tarboro won three consecutive North Carolina Class 2A state championships from 2009-2011 before losing in the 2012 state championship game.

Evan Lisle, OL
Centerville High School
Centerville finished 6-4 in 2012.

Mike Mitchell, LB
Prestonwood Christian Academy, Plano, Texas
Prestonwood finished 8-4 in 2012, but won a state title in 2010.

Jalin Marshall, WR
Middletown High School
Middletown finished 4-6 in 2012 after winning its first Greater Miami Conference championship in more than 20 years in 2010.

Billy Price, OL
Austintown Fitch High School
Earned a state playoff berth with a 9-2 record.

Tracy Sprinkle, DL
Elyria High School
Elyria finished 2012 7-3.

Dontre Wilson, RB
DeSoto HS, DeSoto Texas
DeSoto lost in the 4A Division II state championship game and finished the season 14-1.

Chris Worley, S
Cleveland Glenville High School
Glenville finished 2012 8-2, but did not qualify for the playoffs.

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